Taylor Releases City of Urbana Audit

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Urbana -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor released the annual audit of the city of Urbana for fiscal year 2006 today. The audit reveals more than $260,000 in invoices improperly billed for a federal grant reimbursement related to the reconstruction of a local street project. The audit also notes other areas where city officials could improve financial accounting.

“It’s crucial that city officials implement strict policies and procedures for documenting federal grant money,” Taylor said. “The failure to do so could result in misspending, theft or the loss of future funding.”

In 2005, city officials approved a plan to make water and sewer repairs along Water Street coinciding with an ongoing reconstruction project. When all of the work was complete, the city billed the Ohio Department of Transportation for the water and sewer repairs which was not an allowable expense. The audit recommends that city officials consult with ODOT to determine if the city must repay a total of $267,873 to the state.

The audit also identifies weaknesses in the city’s accounting procedures that could potentially lead to financial reporting deficiencies, including:

  • Errors in financial reporting
  • Lack of oversight in the collection of city swimming pool fees
  • Failure to include state and federal grant funds in the city’s annual budget

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).

A full copy of the audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.